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|Fantasy managers who used a top-3 pick on Barkley last season were treated to a dreadful 9.6 point game against the Steelers before Barkley suffered a season-ending knee injury against the Bears. 2020 was an unmitigated disaster for the former Penn State star. Yet, his generational talent and ability to post ridiculous rushing and receiving numbers make him a first-round pick again in 2021.
Talent aside, there are some questions surrounding the health of his knee and if he will be a full-go at the start of the season when the Giants take on the Broncos. The Giants could ease him into action, with Devontae Booker sharing some of the workload.
Another question mark is the Giants offensive line, a unit that enters 2021 as the No.32-ranked unit according to ProFootballFocus.com. If second-round pick Andrew Thomas does not make a substantial improvement protecting Jones's blindside and guarded Nick Gates and Will Hernandez improve on their run blocking, Barkley and all of the skill portion players on the Giants could be in for a long year.
On a positive note, Barkley's skill set as an elite runner and pass catcher make him a solid first-round pick and a foundation pick for owners in 2021. If he plays a full 17-game season, he is a lock for at least 250 carries and close to 100 targets.
| Saquon Barkley to get eased in|
HC hints at his back's early workload
By: Doug Orth | Mon Jul 26, 6:55 pm
|The Giants plan to take a “long term” approach with Saquon Barkley (knee), coach Joe Judge told me in a 1-on-1 interview. Still a chance he’s ready for Week 1 though. (ESPN - Jordan Raanan)|
FFToday's Take: This report shouldn't be all that surprising since the Giants elected to put Barkley on PUP to begin camp a few days ago. With that said, this whole situation has the feel of Judge taking a page out of the book of mentors Bill Belichick and Nick Saban by keeping everything as mysterious as possible. Barkley will likely get eased in early, but fantasy managers should expect the training wheels to come off fairly quickly if he comes out of Week 1 and Week 2 without incident. Devontae Booker will get some extra run in the meantime.
| Saquon Barkley begins camp on PUP list|
Can be activated at any time
By: Mike Krueger | Thu Jul 22, 4:48 pm
|#Giants RB Saquon Barkley and TE Kyle Rudolph and #Patriots CB Stephon Gilmore and QB Jarrett Stidham are among the players who will open training camp on the active/PUP list, per the transaction wire. They can be activated at any time. (Tom Pelissero on Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: Barkley is coming off an ACL injury suffered in Week 2 last season and there's been some discourse this off-season on whether or not he may be limited to start the season. It's difficult to project Barkley missing any significant time but once he does hit the field his practice reports will scrutinized closely.